Emigre magazine was published a total of 69 times, usually irregularly, over the years between 1984 and 2005. One of the first publications to use Macintosh computers, Emigre influenced the move towards desktop publishing within the graphic design community. But that was not the end of its influence. Art directors Rudy Vanderlands and Zuzana Licko entranced designers, photographers and typographers alike with their use of use of experimental layouts and opinionated articles.

The focus of the magazine moved from culture to designers to design itself, with an increasing focus on the publication and promotion of varied articles on design by many different authors. The magazine also changed formats several times during its career switching from an oversized publication to a text-friendly reader and then to a multimedia format, from issue 60 to 65, which came with a CD or DVD.